New Delhi: After the first-ever in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Summit, leaders of the Quad nations in a joint statement said they will closely coordinate diplomatic, economic, and human-rights policies towards Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday (September 24, 2021) held the Quad leaders’ meeting.
Quad to closely coordinate diplomatic, human-rights policies towards Afghanistan
Quad in its statement said, "In South Asia, we will closely coordinate our diplomatic, economic, and human-rights policies towards Afghanistan and will deepen our counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation in the months ahead in accordance with UNSCR 2593."
"We reaffirm that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterate the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan...We stand together in support of Afghan nationals and call on the Taliban to provide safe passage to any person wishing to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities are respected," read the joint statement.
Quad leaders renew commitment to promote free Indo-Pacific
"The occasion of the Quad summit is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on our vision for what we hope to achieve. Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," said the joint statement of the Quad leaders.
"We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to working together and with a range of partners," added the joint statement.
Quad countries pledge to donate 120 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses globally
Quad has pledged to donate more than 120 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses globally, in addition to the vaccines financed through Covax. In a joint statement, the leaders of Quad said, “In addition to doses financed through COVAX, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion doses globally of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. And to date, we have delivered nearly 79 million safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccine doses to countries in the Indo-Pacific as part of those commitments."
"The leaders are fully committed to strengthening vaccine confidence and trust. To that end, Quad countries will host an event at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) dedicated to combatting hesitancy,” the statement added.
Quad to enhance climate adaptation, resilience and preparedness
Quad rolled out a 5G partnership and plans to track climate change. “We have joined forces to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the urgency it demands. Quad countries will work together to keep the Paris-aligned temperature limits within reach and will pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels," the statement read.
"Our work is organized across three thematic areas: climate ambition, clean-energy innovation and deployment, and climate adaptation, resilience and preparedness, with the intent to pursue enhanced actions during the 2020s, contributing to the aim of achieving global net-zero emissions preferably by 2050, and taking into account national circumstances,” said Quad leaders in the joint statement.
Quad urges North Korea to engage in dialogue
The leaders of the Quad nations called on North Korea to engage in dialogue and abide by the UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit its ballistic missile tests.
"We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearisation of North Korea in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, and also confirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the issue of Japanese abductees," the leaders said in a joint statement. "We urge North Korea to abide by its UN obligations, refrain from provocations. We also call on North Korea to engage in substantive dialogue," they added.
US President Biden announces 'Quad fellowship'
Noting the excellent progress made by the Quad, US President Joe Biden on Friday announced a new "fellowship" for the students of the member countries to pursue advanced degrees in "stem programs" here in the United States.
The statement read, “We are proud to begin a new chapter of educational and people-to-people cooperation as we inaugurate the Quad Fellowship. Stewarded by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, and with generous support from Accenture, Blackstone, Boeing, Google, Mastercard, and Western Digital this pilot fellowship program will provide 100 graduate fellowships to leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduate students across our four countries. Through the Quad Fellowship, our next generation of STEM talent will be prepared to lead the Quad and other like-minded partners towards the innovations that will shape our shared future.”
Quad calls for end to violence in Myanmar
Quad leaders on Friday called for an end to violence in Myanmar. "We continue to call for the end to violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including foreigners, engagement in constructive dialogue, and for the early restoration of democracy," the joint statement said.
The leaders also called for the urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. The ASEAN five-point consensus states that there shall be an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties shall exercise utmost restraint; constructive dialogue among all parties concerned shall commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people.
(With Agency inputs)